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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Years of Development

Grey Wolf
Nikon D50, Nikkor 70-300VR @ 300mm ISO 400, f/5.6 1/60

I started serious photography in 2007. Since then I have upgraded my camera, lenses, computer, software and developed my skill set. I was recently going through my Lightroom catalog looking at older photos I liked. I thought about how my taste and skill in post processing had changed over the years. That led to thinking about how I would redo them.

This is the benefit of non destructive image processing such as Lightroom or Aperture. At any point I can revert the photograph back to its original state and start over. In my case, I used Lightroom 3. I started by making a virtual copy so I could compare the two side by side. Then I reset one of the photos back to its original state.

The first thing that struck me was how the original was shot. It was under exposed and the white balance was very blue. I quickly adjusted the values to my current taste and compared them. I immediately liked the new photograph, even to the point where I considered putting in my portfolio of my more refined work. I also used Photoshop CS5 to clone out some distractions. Check out the Original, Early and Current versions...

Original

Early

Current


I went through a few other photos and post processed them again and compared. This experience shows the benefits of shooting in RAW and using a non destructive image processing program. The RAW format ensures that as software development continues the older photos can be reprocessed and improved upon.

So take a little stroll down memory lane and look through some of your earlier work. See if there are some photos that could use a little updated attention, it's amazing what you'll find!